It was closer this time around, but the end result was the same, as Hardeeville hosted fellow Region 5-A squad Whale Branch in the opening round of the Class 1-A, Division II playoffs.
The Hurricanes (6-5) used their ball-control offense to eventually wear down the Warriors (5-6), getting a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns from Michael Kinlaw to advance with a 32-12 victory. Hardeeville defeated Whale Branch 36-8 back in September.
Kinlaw finished with 106 yards on 11 carries Friday. As a team, Hardeeville piled up 283 rushing yards on 33 carries. The Hurricanes only threw one pass on the night and did not have any turnovers.
Donald Scott had a 26-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for Hardeeville. Phillip Harris' 25-yard run and Jarrell Knighton's conversion put the Hurricanes ahead 14-0 early in the second quarter.
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Whale Branch cut the deficit to eight on Stedmon James' 28-yard scoring run. Knighton's 3-yard run put Hardeeville back up by 14, but Whale Branch made it 20-12 going into halftime when running back Josh Fields hit D. Delaney with a 25-yard scoring toss.
After a scoreless third quarter, Kinlaw's touchdowns put the game away.
Whale Branch finished with 184 rushing yards and 174 passing.
James led the Warriors with 58 yards on 10 carries. He was 6 for 15 passing for 149 yards and three interceptions. The Warriors threw four interceptions on the night. D. Delaney had two catches for 72 yards.
Dominique Riley led the Hardeeville defense with 16 tackles.
Devon Mack had 12 tackles and J. Delaney had nine tackles and 1 1/2 sacks for Whale Branch, a first-year program.
Hardeeville will host Denmark-Olar, which upset No. 3 seed Blackville-Hilda 15-14, at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a second-round game.
Hartsville 63, Hilton Head High 9
The Seahawks ran into a buzzsaw in the opening round of the Class 3-A playoffs. Hartsville running back Ernest Wallace opened the scoring with a 56-yard touchdown run and the Red Foxes never looked back from there.
Wallace finished with 105 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Receiver Trey Gattison had 101 yards and two touchdowns on three catches.
For Hilton Head High, quarterback Michael Julian threw for 188 yards on 8 of 28 passing with one interception. He finishes with 1,076 passing yards on the season.
Desmond Bush had three catches for 98 yards. Shakane Simmons had three catches for 87 yards and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run.
The defense was led by defensive end Raheem Williams with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Seahawks finish the season 4-7.
Hilton Head Prep 48, Pee Dee Academy 20
The four-hour ride to Mullins didn't slow down the Dolphins (8-3), who charged out to a 28-6 lead by halftime and rolled from there in a SCISAA Class 2-A first-round matchup. The win brings Hilton Head Prep back to the island, where they will play at rival Hilton Head Christian.
Matt Layman was 24 for 38 passing for 284 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for a score.
Dimitri Lowry and Alex Orford were his two favorite targets. Lowry had nine catches for 129 yards, while Orford made seven receptions -- including two touchdowns -- for 103 yards. They also had catches on the other side of the ball, each coming away with an interception.
Kevin Glick led Prep's ground attack with 103 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. He also had a touchdown catch. Bo Strimpfel had two touchdowns.
Pee Dee finishes 7-5.